Taken in the fourth round back in 2019, Mangum is a 26-year-old outfielder whose timeline is behind many of his peers. He played his last college season at age 23, debuting later that summer for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He missed all of 2020 due to the pandemic and in 2021, finally got to show the Mets organization a little more of what he can do.
Mangum’s first professional season was underwhelming. He slashed .247/.337/.297 in 210 trips to the plate. He was practically void of any signs of power. Mangum had 5 doubles, 2 triples, and not a single home run.
Mets prospect Jake Mangum made some huge strides in 2021
Maybe Mangum consumed nothing but protein shakes and spent a lot of time increasing one rep max on every compound lift. Whatever he did, this was a much different player in 2021.
Most of his season took place in Double-A with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. While there, he batted .294/.342/.459. These are good numbers for any hitter and not so surprising coming from him. The shock is that he had 21 doubles, 4 triples, and 7 home runs. Mangum found his power.
This isn’t the kind of power we should expect to turn into anything significant. He’s not the next Pete Alonso. But to go from hitting so lightly to knocking 9 total home runs in 368 plate appearances shows positive signs of growth while hinting at some untapped potential.
A switch-hitting center fielder, Mangum could slide into the competition to play the position for the Mets. I think there’s a thought that maybe Khalil Lee or Nick Plummer could win a future job playing the position. We should add Mangum into the mix.
Of course, he’ll first have to master the Triple-A level. Because of his age, he might have to do it quicker than most.
At worst, maybe Mangum lines up as a fourth or fifth outfielder. The ability to play center field means he can play the other two positions. He doesn’t need immense power. Another year, another solid batting average, and a bit more pop could go a long way for the kid.